Posts tagged Pittsburgh
Posts tagged Pittsburgh
The sweet and earthy scents of Pittsburgh autumn
Play havoc with my memory. Another year
Already gone by; clouds of warm air
And diesel smoke tangle with wind and rain
To stir the pot of my volatile consciousness. The thought
Of the past flickers in; it slips through the misty door
To revel with the present. The cathedral door
Bleeds with color and vividness, a smear of autumn
Life against the bricks. This season scrambles any thought
I may dare to have; nothing is certain this time of year.
Reality runs in drops and splashes in this rain
To fly about, unchecked, in the heavy air.
In no other city have I seen, heard, and felt so much. This air
Contains the bits of my soul that take flight without warning—a door
To another world, or many. The smells of falling leaves and warm rain
Evoke the greatest, and the lowest. Some say autumn
Smells like death. But it smells of beauty, fear, longing, God, a year
Of hope and fear and joy and love and grief. Of the thought
That there is so little about this world that I understand. I thought
I knew what it meant to see, only to find a place where the very air
Forces me to take another look. Has it only been a year?
A breeze blows me, eyes closed, to a new door,
Or perhaps an old one, a door my soul knows but my eyes don’t. What autumn
Stood I here to look inside this place my eyes don’t know? What rain
Washed away the lie that things are always as they seem? This rain
Has echoes of that past that I can’t access, of a thought
Too far away to fully grasp, of a day in autumn
Just as today but of another lifetime, of that air
That I somehow know has reached my lungs before. Is that door
Closed to me? I want to connect a year
Of disparate memories that waken even deeper stirrings of my soul. Last year
Was never sure, never certain, never set. The pouring city rain
Wouldn’t allow for me to think that. I never met a door
I didn’t like or a path I didn’t itch to wander. A thought
Can be dangerous—beautifully, marvelously dangerous. Something in the air
Here carries me away, reminds me who I am, in the autumn.
This time of year can crystallize a thought,
Melt me in the rain, or spin me through the air.
Every shadow marks a door. I close my eyes and smell the autumn.
The rain falls softly from the spangled sky
And leaves a sheen of starlight on the ground
Beneath me. Far away, a siren calls
And adds its hollow crying to the tears
That drench my skin and quench my soul. Nearby,
The city lights all sparkle through the dark
And join the stars to frolic in the rivers.
I sit beside a bridge, its steel so strong
Against my back, and feel the heartbeat of
This city. My city. I’m home at last.
Tonight, my Cornerstone friends and I went out for a night on the town for Pittsburgh’s annual light-up night. This, as I learned, means a life-size replica of the Vatican nativity scene, street performers, a parade, exhibitions of Santas from around the world and the world’s coolest gingerbread villages, many Christmas trees, and usually-somber city folk singing along obnoxiously with Christmas carols and smiling uncontainably.
I had to explain to someone the other night that I don’t just laugh when something’s funny (though I do find quite a lot to be funny), I laugh when I’m joyful. This was a night like that. Surrounded by new friends that I love, the already glittering city draped with Christmas lights and accompanied by carols—these are the kind of nights that remind me why I love life so much.
I don’t care about the complaints that Christmas has gotten too commercial. It’s sad in the sense that the people who did it are missing out on something much better, and they’re taking some people with them. But the silly Christmas displays in stores and the ads featuring Christmas carols and the campaigns based around joy and love and warmth and community? They make me happy.
I realized something last night. As silly as this might sound, I’m starting to feel like the kid with the new sibling who realizes her parents’ love isn’t finite, getting smaller for her when it grows for her sibling. You just have more love. But instead of a new sibling, there’s a new city. Without missing or loving my friends and family and home in Colorado any less, I’m starting to find a place here to love, too. A city whose secrets I want to learn and friends whose stories I want to hear. A community full of love and support and serendipitous adventure.
It’s hard to have a heart that dwells in two places at once. But it means I have just that much more to love.
Driving over that bridge after eight hours of travel today was unbelievable—one moment, you’re shrouded in nothing but trees and stars, and the next, the lights of the huge city sprawl before you and glitter in the surrounding water. The city is a beautiful sight, and it’s weird to realize that this is where I’m going to be living for the next four years of my life.
It was sort of surreal to finally reach the place I’m going to live in. I’ve never visited campus or even been to Pittsburgh before, so it was crazy to see what it looked like. I’m anxious to see the city in daylight and to actually get around the campus. First, though, we’re spending a couple days doing some last minute shopping and such. My actual move-in day isn’t until Sunday.
I’m crazy nervous. And excited. And scared. And starting to realize that my mom really is going to get in the car and leave me here all by myself. Well, sort of. I’m a little freaked out.
But really, seeing campus today, even in the dark was pretty cool. And the city’s amazing—I think I could really learn to love it here.